Prostitutes to PROTEST in Amsterdam over bid to drive away Brits
Furious prostitutes will PROTEST in Amsterdam over city’s bid to drive away British ‘zombie tourists’
- Amsterdam has launched a campaign to curb tourists’ boozy behaviour
- READ MORE: Rhodes welcomes Brits with gifts as Lanzarote looks elsewhere
Furious prostitutes are planning a protest in Amsterdam after officials told British ‘zombie tourists’ who visit the city for sex, drugs and booze-filled trips to ‘stay away’.
The Dutch capital launched a campaign yesterday discouraging tourists planning drug and alcohol-fuelled parties from visiting the city – starting with young British men.
Amsterdam’s officials have long been trying to curb rowdy behaviour and events such as stags, especially near the famed red light area where sex workers operate.
But the city’s latest campaign – dubbed ‘Stay Away – has been slammed by prostitutes. They are planning a protest tomorrow against earlier closing times and plans to move the sex workers from the world famous red light district to large ‘erotic centres’ on the outskirts of the city.
In contrast, councillors have welcomed the measures as a stand against ‘glassy-eyed tourist zombies staggering about’ as Amsterdam became the latest holiday destination to try and discourage british tourists from booze-filled trips.
The Dutch capital launched a campaign yesterday discouraging tourists planning drug and alcohol-fuelled parties from visiting the city – starting with young British men
The campaign features a staged video showing a young man being arrested after he was found stumbling along the city’s streets. The video is overlaid with red writing which reads: ‘So coming to Amsterdam for a messy night? Stay away’
Furious prostitutes are planning a protest in Amsterdam after officials told British ‘zombie tourists’ who visit the city for sex, drugs and booze-filled trips to ‘stay away’. Pictured: Prostitutes stand behind windows in the Red Light District in Amsterdam on July 1
It comes after British holidaymakers were offended by comments from the president of Lanzarote, María Dolores Corujo, who suggested the island would look to attract ‘higher-quality’ tourists and rely less on Brits.
Amsterdam’s new campaign will involve people seeing special warnings when they search for terms such as ‘stag party Amsterdam’ or ‘pub crawl Amsterdam’.
The campaign features a staged video showing a young man being arrested after he was found stumbling along the city’s streets.
The video features large red and white writing saying: ‘Coming to Amsterdam for a messy night and getting trashed = 140 euro fine and a criminal record.’
The video shows the police officers taking the tourist to a prison cell and making him kneel down in front of a bed in a bizarre scene.
The video is overlaid with red writing which reads: ‘So coming to Amsterdam for a messy night? Stay away.’ Some dramatic music follows this warning, before the video cuts to a white screen showing the city council’s logo as a cheerful piano ballad plays in the background.
‘The campaign will commence in Great Britain, aimed at males in the age category of 18 to 35 years,’ Amsterdam city council said in a statement.
‘This online discouragement campaign is aimed at nuisance tourists who want to visit Amsterdam to ”go wild”, with all the ensuing consequences.’
It would be expanded to ‘potential nuisance-causing visitors from the Netherlands and other EU-countries’ in the coming year, the statement said.
People searching for terms such as ‘stag party Amsterdam’ or ‘pub crawl Amsterdam’ will be shown warning advertisements.
The ads would show the ‘risks and consequences of anti-social behaviour and excessive drug and alcohol abuse’ including fines, arrest, criminal records, hospitalisation and health issues.
While prostitutes are set to protest against the move, Rik Riezebos, a behavioral psychologist and image expert, has also spoken of his doubts about the campaign.
He said the ‘danger’ is that the campaign may actually encourage ‘irrational’ British tourists to visit the city.
Amsterdam’s new campaign – dubbed ‘Stay Away’ – will involve people seeing special warnings when they search for terms such as ‘stag party Amsterdam’ or ‘pub crawl Amsterdam’
Riezebos told De Telegraaf: ‘Rationally, people will think: then no. But I wonder if the people who come are very rational minded. The danger is that an image will emerge of Amsterdam where you can trade drugs freely and the campaign will have a counterproductive effect.’
He added: ‘I don’t think starting this campaign is a wise move. You can also provoke correctly. People can have ‘curious disbelief’ and then want to see if it is true. I think the only way to tackle the problems is to enforce stricter rules.’
Marco Lemmers, chief executive of Conscious Hotels, who is campaigning for responsible tourism within the industry, said the city’s new campaign is too ‘negative’.
He told Dutch News: ‘It’s so negative. You can also present the image of the city in a positive way and attract people to come here.
‘Would you like it if you were targeted on the internet with possible fines when planning to visit a destination because your relative or friend was looking earlier for a group holiday in that same place on your device?
‘Has Amsterdam even thought of the potential collateral damage for the Netherlands as a destination as a whole?’
Amsterdam recently announced a ban on smoking cannabis in the Red Light district, coupled with further restrictions on alcohol consumption and earlier closures for cafes, bars and sex clubs.
Meanwhile, other holiday destinations have sought to attract new demographics to ease overreliance on any one group.
New ads would show the ‘risks and consequences of anti-social behaviour’ such as drugs and alcohol
The President of Lanzarote, historically a popular destination for British tourists, made headlines after raising concerns about depending too much on foreign tourism.
Earlier this month Corujo faced more criticism after heaping praise on Germans and saying the German market adapted to its intentions of aiming at ‘higher-quality’ holidaymakers ahead of the Berlin Tourism Fair.
The unrepentant island president said last week the island’s tourist capacity had reached its limit and it had to prioritise a ‘rational and lasting development based on quality.’
But Corujo insisted in an open letter in island newspaper La Voz de Lanzarote: ‘It’s categorically false that in Lanzarote we do not want British tourism or that we want to reduce the numbers of British tourists.
Around half of all the tourists who visit Lanzarote are British and Corujo has pinned the island’s future tourism strategy on one of ‘diversification to reduce the dependence on the British market’ and welcome more ‘upmarket’ holidaymakers
Lanzarote tourist board information shows Britons also spend an average of €34.94 per day on the volcanic islands, more than most foreign visitors.
Despite this, Ms Dolores Corujo said: ‘It’s essential to work on the diversification of the sector and the growth of markets like the German market, which adapt to our intentions of aiming at higher-quality tourism and holidaymakers who spend more when they’re here and moves us away from mass tourism.’
Many British holidaymakers took offence to the comments, prompting the Spanish Tourist Office to reassure visitors that the island would not ‘discriminate by type of visitor’.
UK Director Manuel Butler said: ‘Spain is a socially inclusive destination and we do not discriminate.
‘We warmly welcome our British guests.’
Francisco Martinez, vice-president of Lanzarote’s Island Association of Hotels and Apartments, said leaders were opening an unnecessary debate and being ‘badly advised’.
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